Heathrow Express is set to unveil its fully refurbished trains, part of a £16 million investment into the brand that has seen a new corporate identity launched and developed since March 2012.
The project, which has taken three years from commission to roll out, was borne from extensive research and the desire to remain the most innovative, premium train operating company in the marketplace.
Launched in 1998, customer research showed that Heathrow Express is viewed as a premium brand that is highly valued offering an oasis of calm for customers to brace themselves for travel at either end. Recent feedback showed that modernization and standardization was required to maintain and ‘premiumise’ the brand and a broader plan was agreed to update the brand identity and service values in parallel with a modernised fleet.
All trains will undergo a complete refit, inside and out from the ground up in both Express and First Class carriages.
In excess of 1300 new components have been introduced from over 200 suppliers. With a desire to get it right first time, over 260 technical re-designs were made since the prototype was introduced, following further customer, staff and supplier feedback.
With a strong business bias in the customer base, design concepts and enhancements were made to align the brand further with airlines. First Class carriages have been refined and the increased comfort and exemplary service offered reflect the airline experience. Heathrow Express 1st class is the only train in the country to offer single seating throughout the carriage meaning that space, privacy and proximity to luggage are guaranteed. First Class carriages are spacious reflecting a business lounge environment.
In Express Class improvements include revised interior seating layouts offering a variety of bay and airline seating where previously all seats were forward facing in twos. Customers requested more room to move so moveable arm rests were added and tables removed to be replaced by cup holders and ‘trinket’ tables. Luggage racks have been improved removing the bottom step so cases can slide in and overhead racks now have clear glass improving natural light.
Lighting throughout the carriages have been changed to more efficient LED lighting including coloured mood lighting under the seats, all lighting intensives when the to signal the train arriving in the station. At-seat power sockets have been added and the new brand colour scheme has been creatively implemented through the cabin.
The attention to detail extends to the toilet areas, which are now entirely, touch free. Baby changing tables have added nappy pins and hooks and mirrors have been added.
Taking nine months from concept to reality, customer experience has been at the heart of the project from the outset and investment in the fleet has been underpinned by ongoing investment in staff training and modernising customer touch points at the airport, the station and online . Heathrow Express are also updating back of house areas as an on-going commitment to their employees.
Proud to be the fastest and most reliable access point to and from the airport, the new improvements mean Heathrow Express boasts comfort and service aligned to premium air travel, whilst retaining its winning speed and reliability formula.
The first refurbished carriages will start service on Monday 28th May, leading to completion of the project and an entirely upgraded stock by April 2013
Keith Greenfield quotes “Heathrow Express is already the fastest and most reliable way to travel to the airport. Our new fleet will ensure that our customers receive the most relaxing and convenient travel experience possible. I am very proud to unveil our new trains – the result of 3 years hard work.
Our new design and technology innovations twinned with excellent service initiatives mean that we offer customers the fastest, most sophisticated travel choice to and from London Heathrow.
“London’s busy summer starts this week and we are excited to showcase our new fleet as we welcome international visitors to the city for the Diamond Jubilee.”